December 16, 2008

Fun stuff for the blog & training

I added a slideshow and Dazzle's horoscope to the left side. I think that if you click on a photo in the slide show, you'll be taken to the Flickr site where you can see all the photos.

As far as training, this morning we spent nearly an hour working on several different things.
Lightswitch: He's doing great with the light switch, but he's not tall enough to reach a full height switch, so we'll set this training aside now till he gets taller. I don't want him to have to reach up with his paw, I want him to use only his nose. Otherwise I'll have major scratches on the walls!
Ladder: I had him go over the raised "ladder" and with me helping him, he did much better. I think it's finally "clicking" in his brain that he has to consciously place his back feet and not just hope they land on a rung. Not his favorite activity though. I'm guessing that once he masters it, it will be more fun for him. Right now it's just a lot of work for his brain and body.
Stay with distractions: I put him in a stay and tossed some tennis balls around (both sit and down stay.) THAT was hard for him! But he did it, even when I was tossing balls right past him. So I'll continue to work on that and add in other distractions.
Heel with distractions: I also had him heeling while I tossed tennis balls, but he couldn't handle that yet. So instead I would just drop them by my right side as we were heeling and he did that ok. His body was like a coiled spring though ready to pounce on the ball. We'll work up to my tossing a ball during heeling.
Tunnel: He is now flying through the tunnel on cue, so I started adding "right" and "left" cues as he enters the tunnel to indicate the direction I want him to turn when he exits. I'm using my movement (he can hear which way my voice goes) and then tossing the ball to the indicated side of the tunnel. So he wraps around the end of the tunnel and comes back toward me to get the ball. Not sure if he really has this yet or if he's just guessing correctly :-) I did a few standing still and his ratio of correct went down, so I think he was relying on my movement/voice. We have worked on directionals before, so that part isn't new, just the combination of tunnel and directional is new.
Weaves: He really loves them, so I let him go through them a few times after a long break from not working on these at all. I don't think having him go through them a few times now and then will hurt.
Get it: He's doing well with getting stuff I drop. The other day he pushed Coyote out of the way to get a pencil I had dropped :-) We just worked on the leash during this training session, but in other sessions we have worked on various objects like my keys, paper, pens, etc. Yesterday in Biggs, he picked up my shopping list I had accidently dropped and got a jackpot of rewards.
Go outs: He LOVES go outs! I got a clear plastic target and started using that today in place of the DSA rubber jar opener. There were times he lost sight of it, but he would accidently step on it during his search and then drive his nose onto it :-) I also did a few where I had him sit after he nosed the target. He's able to go about 15' from me before he forgets what he was doing on his way to the target. LOL Still very much a puppy, but a darn smart one!

So it was a busy session and using toys as rewards for a few things helped extend the session past the amount of food I had for his meal. We're supposed to have class tonight, but I'm waiting to see the news to decide if I should drive to class tonight or if the snow/ice is too bad. We only have a dusting here so far, but no idea what the rest of the area looks like.